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Collection Basics

If you won a Judgment you are now a Creditor and the losing side is a Debtor. The Debtor owes money to the Creditor and should pay the money due. But, collecting a judgment may not be easy. To begin collecting a judgment, the Creditor should contact the Debtor or Debtor’s attorney, if there is one, and ask the Debtor to pay. If the Debtor doesn’t pay, the Creditor has to look for the Debtor’s money. Read Finding the Debtor’s Money and Property. After you find the Debtor’s money and property, there are tools to help collect the judgment.

Note: You won’t be able to collect the judgment if the Debtor files for bankruptcy. The Debtor will give you papers from the Bankruptcy Court that tell you what to do to protect your claim.

 

Collection Tools:

There are many tools to help you collect money or property from the Debtor. Some Courts give you the forms you need. Contact the Court to see if it has a form for you and to find out where to file it.

Collection tools:

  • A very important tool to help you collect money or property from the Debtor is called a Transcript of Judgment. This is used when you want to Make a Judgment Work in a Different Court or County.
  • If the Debtor has a bank account: The Creditor can serve a Restraining Notice signed by the Court Clerk on the bank to stop the Debtor from withdrawing money. A Restraining Notice can also be used to stop someone who owes money to the Debtor from paying it back until your debt is paid.
  • If the Debtor has a job: The Creditor can use an Income Execution to make the Debtor’s boss pay part of the Debtor’s salary to him or her. This is called garnishment. The Creditor fills out an Income Execution form and has it signed by the Court Clerk. Then the Creditor gives the Income Execution to an Enforcement Officer. Read People Who Collect the Debtor’s Money.
  • If the Debtor has land: A judgment filed in a County Clerk’s Office becomes a lien on the Debtor’s land or land he or she buys in the county. Having a lien means that the Debtor can’t sell the property without paying the Creditor.
  • If the Debtor has personal property, like a car, boat or jewelry: The Creditor can fill out a Property Execution and give it to an Enforcement Officer to use to take the Debtor’s personal property. Read People Who Collect the Debtor’s Money.
  • If someone owes the Debtor money: The Creditor can fill out a Property Execution and give it to an Enforcement Officer to make the person pay the Creditor instead of the Debtor. Read People Who Collect the Debtor’s Money.
  • Other Ways to Make the Debtor Pay.
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